United Latest

David Gill with The Glazers
Today; David Gill has said only a ‘visible minority’ of fans are in support of the Green and Gold Campaign, The Glazers have said the club is ‘not for sale’ – at the same time it has been revealed that they spent £40 Million of Cristiano Ronaldo’s £80M transfer money refinancing debt. And funnily enough to add to this BBC’s Panorama will be invetsigating the findings…

So, a round-up of today’s action;

Early Morning:  David Gill: “The money is there. People say Alex is saying that because he has to. Anyone who knows Alex Ferguson knows he wouldn’t say that if he didn’t mean what he said. The money is definitely there. The results for the quarter ending 31 March (released today) will show the figures are about £95 Million cash.”

“We are not in a situation whereby Alex is restricted in what he wants to do with the club and his modus operandi as a manager. We have never said: ‘You can’t do that, we have to pay interest (on the debt).’ I can look you in the eye and say that. He would say exactly the same thing. People don’t believe it. We never said to him: ‘You can’t go for that player because he’s too much’.”

“The Green and Gold Campaign and the momentum behind that can get a bit tiring,” he added. “We understand people’s desire to protest and I think it is a minority. It’s a visible minority in the stadium. Would we prefer not to have them (Green and Gold scarves) ? – Yes. They have a right to protest. A lot of the fans clearly care about the club and that is a strength.”

“But a lot of the other fans want to know that the team is playing attractive football, exciting Manchester United-style football, winning football. Who owns it is a bit irrelevant to them. I think that minority will go away. A lot of people understand what it means but a lot of them don’
Green and Gold - EVERYWHERE !
A ‘minority’… Mr. Gill ?

Noon:  Statement from the Manchester United Board: “The Board notes recent press speculation regarding a possible bid for Manchester United. The owners remain fully committed to their long-term ownership of the club. Manchester United is not for sale and the owners will not entertain any offers.”

Afternoon:  Manchester United spent the equivalent of half the proceeds from the £80 Million Cristiano Ronaldo sale on refinancing their debt earlier this year, the club’s latest set of financial figures reveal today. The quarterly results for the period January to end of March 2010 show an apparently buoyant economic picture, with cash reserves of £95.9M and a turnover that has increased £26M to £219M from the corresponding nine-month period last year. 

But the Glazer Family are continuing to increase the debt burden on the club. Analysis of United’s accounts shows that the club made a one-off loss of £40.7M on interest rate swaps in the first quarter of the year, in order to change to a more favourable fixed deal after the club lost out to the sharp fall in interest rates.

This club have already paid off £12.7M of this – the equivalent of revenue from this season’s Champions League home games – and the remaining £28M will be absorbed by United over the next five years. Despite the vast cash reserves, it is unlikely manager Sir Alex Ferguson will see too much of the money in the way of a summer transfer kitty. The £45M annual interest bill already soaks up half of the cash reserves.

Furthermore, although the overall debt in the club has decreased from £543.3M in March 30th 2009 to £520M, it has increased by £12M since the Glazers took out a £500M bond in January to refinance what the club calls their ‘senior debt’. The big mystery surrounds the notorious payment in kind (PIK) loans, which, although not revealed in the results posted by the football club, are estimated to have grown to £225M. They are set to rise even further with the interest rate due to jump to 16.25% in August.

In the latest annual accounts, to July 2009, debts at the parent company ‘Red Football Joint Venture’ increased to £716.5M. Based on today’s figures, that could comfortably exceed £750M, by the end of the current financial year. One City source told Goal.com UK: “This is a very well run football club with a scary bank sheet attached to it. If you take away the debt and look at the football club it is a resounding success story making huge amounts of money. Below the club sit some very nasty financial details.”

The last few months has witnessed a public battle between the club and The Red Knights, the group of wealthy individual supporters, with the two parties offering hugely differing estimates of United’s value. The Glazers made a clear statement in the accounts today that the club is “not for sale and the owners will not entertain any offers”. (above)

Earlier today, chief executive David Gill said that with the financing in place at the club and the growth in its commercial operations, United could “still be a top, top club” (also above). He told the Independent: “We can invest in players, invest in the training ground – we have plans for that – invest in the stadium and do those things. The money is definitely there. We are not in a situation where Alex is restricted in what he wants to do with the club.”

However, this is unlikely to placate the critics. Duncan Drasdo, Chief Executive of The Independent Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST), said: “The Glazers have said almost nothing for the last five years but all of a sudden with a supporter friendly takeover bid being assembled and supporters threatening not to renew season tickets they are in a real panic. Of course they won’t say anything in person – they hide behind their PR people and club employees. David Gill wouldn’t be defending them if he wasn’t an employee. When the Glazers go perhaps we’ll hear his true feelings.”

“The fact is they’ve put no money in – not a single penny. The money used to purchase the club went to the shareholders, not the club and of course they borrowed the vast majority of that money and then transferred the debt to the club.”
he added. (Goal UK)

Evening:  Manchester United’s finances under the ownership of the Glazer family, the club’s £712 Million debt and the £80 Million raised by the 2009 sale of Cristiano Ronaldo are set to be the subject of an investigation by ‘Panorama’, the BBC Current Affairs Programme.

United, who are due to announce quarterly financial results on Friday as a condition of the club’s £500 Million bond issue, have yet to co-operate with the programme makers ahead of the proposed screening date of June 7th.

But with manager Sir Alex Ferguson having not spoken to the BBC since accusing the corporation of ‘breathtaking arrogance’ following a 2004 Panorama expose into the alleged business dealings of his son, Jason, the programme is unlikely to soothe relations. Although the investigation is understood to be based on a broad theme of football club ownership and the game’s financial health, the situation surrounding The Glazers and attempts by The Red Knights to launch a supporter-backed takeover bid for United are believed to form the main thrust of the programme.

Despite The Glazer Family’s consistently-stated determination to resist any takeover bid, supporter groups behind the Green and Gold Anti-Glazer Campaign continue to claim that the Americans’ business interests in their home country, which include nationwide shopping malls and real estate, are suffering as a result of the economic downturn. Those claims, and suggestions that United’s income is being used to service the club’s debt, are understood to form part of the Panorama Investigation. (Telegraph)




Fri, 28 May 2010 9:26:53 pm

that’s a contradictory statement.. first you say with huge letters: GILL OUT.. then you defend Gill..
“David Gill wouldn’t be defending them if he wasn’t an employee. When the Glazers go perhaps we’ll hear his true feelings.”
I agree your defending of Gill and believe he does nothing wrong.. people shouldnt dig too much into his words as he is an employee.. rather want a Glazer to come and take over Gill’s job?


Fri, 28 May 2010 9:32:57 pm

RE: sprite

Nope, i’m not defending David Gill AT ALL. I think Gill should either go himself, along with the Glazers – or he should try to get them out.

Duncan Drasdo is the person you are quoting “David Gill wouldn’t be defending them if he wasn’t an employee. When the Glazers go perhaps we’ll hear his true feelings.” – it’s he who said that, and to be honest it is true up to a point.

But it’s either Glazers and Gill, or Gill v Glazers – I choose Glazers (out) !



Fri, 28 May 2010 9:48:13 pm

I believe all these people with the yellow and green scarves should get over it, they blew our season with their antics. you either show your support for your team or you don’t.
as fans should we be so invested at who is running the board, or should we be concerned with winning games.

i just feel all this stuff caused our team some unrest, think about that when you are wearing the yellow and green, and not red to support them.


A. Thomsen

Fri, 28 May 2010 10:02:58 pm

I’m a manutd4life. Yellow and green need to get over it. Support United, no matter who’s running the board!



Fri, 28 May 2010 10:12:13 pm

re United Latest
Oh, didnt see it was a quote..sorry for that..
I am still no fan of knee-jerk reactions, and believe the Glazers offer a better solution at the moment, than some oil billionare that want immidiate success, then leaves the club in a mess, or owners like Red Knights, where everyone want a word to say, and disagreements will be made all the time.. But I am also no fan of debt where interests have to be paid all the time.. I will have to be patient I guess.

re RedDevil
I wouldnt say they ruined our season.. our team didnt have enough match winners, especially in midfield, like chelsea has.. and also there are naturally ups and downs throughout the season.. .



Fri, 28 May 2010 11:38:13 pm

I think Gill is probably correct in asserting that it is only a minority. I rather support the team than focus on the owners. Business isn’t a democracy.


Terry Riley

Sat, 29 May 2010 6:30:31 am

I think the G&G; campaign made the Glazers aware of the fans concerns but it has no purpose now. Most fans I sit with are going back to wearing red next season. Gill was right, half the people wearing G&G; didn’t have a clue. I think MUST and IMUSA blew it. We had a chance to make a difference but not any more. The Glazers are even stronger now.



Sat, 29 May 2010 12:04:15 pm

jesus christ, nobody has `blown`anything yet, with an attitude like that no wonder the glazers are taking the piss out of our club.get off your knees and be prepared to boycott, the only language these parasites will understand.if the glazers are allowed to continue they will bleed the club dry, as for them being `strong` that my fellow supporter is in our hands.


Terry Riley

Sat, 29 May 2010 6:41:32 pm

john, don’t you think it’s a little bit silly to tell me to get off my knees? The red knights are dead in the water. Very few people are going to boycott, we’ve known that all along. What would be the point with no bid? Even if there were a significant number of people boycott it would be attacking the club, not the Glazers. Even if thousands boycotted, we all know there would be others who’d take on the tickets, if not this close season, then next. And even if the shortfall for the Glazers was £5m, that doesn’t make much of a dent in the £96m cash reserves, does it. I see no purpose in boycotting and I don’t know anyone who’ll do it. They may say they will but we all know that few will actually follow through. It will achieve nothing. I have decided that I won’t boycott. I suggest that you should keep your ticket too. If you boycott, you won’t get it back.


Sat, 29 May 2010 6:41:43 pm

In the end of the day, if the fans ‘blew it’ with protesting – who caused the protesting ?

The Glazers… that’s who blew our season !


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